Ari Merkin, former Executive Creative Director, Fallon/N.Y.

Published on .

What was the creative mandate behind the work?

In my first meeting with the client, they asked us to freshen up the existing campaign and create some buzz around the brand. I don't think they were expecting what we came back with. It was a campaign that was more about using the red border to create content for the magazine, instead of just ads for the magazine. We saw the work as an extension of the brand itself.

How did this Bush/Kerry pendulum idea come about?

It made sense to do something around an election that could have gone either way. And "Pendulum" starting running about a month before the election. It stopped on Bush the day after the results came in. "Pendulum" was part of a bigger effort that included peepholes in construction sites and some great interactive work. There was a camouflaged building side commenting on homeland security, and ads on empty retail storefront windows about the economy. The work was all pretty arresting, but "Pendulum" was the one that stopped traffic. Seriously, it stopped traffic. David Letterman complained about it on his website. He'd take the same route to get back to Jersey every day, and he said the congestion was miserable, thanks to the billboard.

What was your inspiration?

We couldn't have done this without Bob Barrie's and Dean Buckhorn's original inspiration. Their work paved the way for us. There are few things more intimidating than taking on the next evolution of one of the most classic print campaigns of all time. Hopefully, we didn't screw it up too badly.

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